The exploration for petroleum in the Black Sea is still in its infancy. Notwithstanding the technical challenges in drilling in its deep-water regions, several geological risks require better understanding. These challenges include reservoir presence and quality (partly related to sediment provenance), and the timing and migration of hydrocarbons from source rocks relative to trap formation. In turn, these risks can only be better understood by an appreciation of the geological history of the Black Sea basins and the surrounding orogens. This history is not without ongoing controversy. The timing of basin formation, uplift of the margins and facies distribution remain issues for robust debate. This Special Publication presents the results of 15 studies that relate to the tectonostratigraphy and petroleum geology of the Black Sea. The methodologies of these studies encompass crustal structure, geodynamic evolution, stratigraphy and its regional correlation, petroleum systems, source to sink, hydrocarbon habitat and play concepts, and reviews of past exploration. They provide insight into the many ongoing controversies regarding the geological history of the Black Sea region and provide a better understanding of the geological risks that must be considered for future hydrocarbon exploration. The Black Sea remains one of the largest underexplored rift basins in the world. Although significant biogenic gas discoveries have been made within the last decade, thermogenic petroleum systems must be proven through the systematic exploration of a wide variety of play concepts.